Saudi Arabia Floats New Peace Initiative, Including Nationwide Ceasefire, to End Yemen Conflict

Yemen descended into conflict in late 2014, after the Houthi movement took control of the country’s capital in a popular uprising sparked by the cancellation of fuel subsidies. President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi fled to Riyadh, and in March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Gulf sheikhdom nations intervened to try to restore him to power.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud announced a new Riyadh-backed peace initiative to end the conflict in Yemen, with the proposal including a United Nations-supervised ceasefire across the country, an easing of the blockade, and the relaunch of political talks.

Along with the nationwide ceasefire, the proposal includes a commitment by the coalition to ease its blockade on Hodeidah Port, with tax revenues from the port to go into a joint bank account in the central bank, the reopening of Sanaa Airport, and other measures.

Prince Faisal went on to take a shot at Tehran, which Riyadh has accused of supporting the Houthi militants with weapons and other support. “The Houthis must decide whether to put their interests first or Iran’s interests first,” the foreign minister said.

Iran has repeatedly expressed support for the Houthis’ struggle, but has also rejected claims of involvement in the Yemen conflict, pointing to the suffocating Saudi blockade of the country’s ports and airspace. The militia similarly maintains that its weapons, including the ballistic missiles and drones it uses to attack coalition forces in both…

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